People Killing People

Fuck this clown.

I’m sick of all these people trying to get abortion banned because they say it kills people – if you think that, you’re totally misinformed. Abortion doesn’t kill people; people kill people. Duh. I want to say the same thing to MADD – drunk drivers don’t kill people, people kill people. And we really need to lay off on the Taliban; after all, fundamentalist Islam doesn’t kill people, people kill people.

I can only engage in satire for about a paragraph before it gets too difficult to maintain that level of cleverness, so here’s my point: When you apply the right amount of reductive reasoning to anything you can always steer it into some bullshit territory where you don’t have to confront the ugly truth.

So sack the fuck up, gun owners – if so much of your literature portrays you as stalwart, unflinching defenders of what’s good and true, how about acknowledging the fucking core of your hobby? Guns are tools – labor saving devices – designed to make it easier to kill shit. To try and spin it any other way is fundamentally dishonest.

That said, I’m a Second Amendment supporter, and here are some of my favorite guns:

The .42 LeMat pistol. Designed for Confederate officers during the Civil War, it could fire buckshot and completely demolish a dude at close range. AWESOME.

The .30 Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR, saw wide use in both World Wars and was the preferred weapon of Bonnie and Clyde.

Standard issue for the United States Colonial Marines in ‘Aliens’. Makes that cool ‘duggaduggaduggadugga’ sound when they fire.

I think guns are awesome, probably because I grew up watching movies and playing video games. I have absolutely no desire to own one myself, because I don’t see the point in owning a gun when crime rates have been in free fall since 1991. I support the Second Amendment because it’s in the Bill of Rights, and because it’d be profoundly conceited on my part to want to deny something to everyone in America just because I don’t see the point in it.

Would limited, strictly controlled access to guns have prevented the terrible thing that happened? Yes, probably – as would limited, strictly controlled access to tear gas grenades, which you can apparently buy legally.*

*What the actual fuck, by the way? I understand the argument for legal ownership of firearms, but why the fuck can people legally buy tear gas grenades? Hunting? Amateur riot control? Is there a National Tear Gas Association? Tear gas hobbyist magazines with sexy girls in bikinis holding tear gas grenades on the cover?

The fact is, trying to champion strict gun control in the wake of a tragedy like this is effectively shutting the barn door after the horse has run out – only the horse ran out in 1789 and has reproduced and seeded the land with millions of other entrenched horses, many of whom are heavily armed.    

Gun control works in England and Japan because they’ve always had it. Americans’ love of gun ownership seems just as alien to them as Branston Pickle and used schoolgirl panty vending machines are to us. America, though, is chock full of guns and gun owners, and that’s how it’s going to be forever. We can go forward and explore a lot of options to prevent these sorts of tragedies, but widespread gun control is about as plausible as having the Federal Bureau of Wizards turn all guns in America into mayonnaise.

I mean, look what happened when the president tried to give Americans easy, cheap access to healthcare – the entire country lost its fucking mind and the GOP went full retard. If that’s how America reacts when you try to give them something good, what happens when you try to take away an American institution that has real, genuine, sentimental value to millions of people, the bulk of whom are rational, law abiding, well intentioned folk?

So gun owners, know that I fully support your right to own pistols, rifles, and shotguns. But for Christ’s sake, let’s renew President Clinton’s Federal Assault Weapons Ban, shall we?

I understand why people buy pistols, rifles, and shotguns – for hunting, or for self defense, or because they’re collectors items. Yes, they’re deadly weapons, but ideally they’re treated with respect and caution by their owners, who have some degree of training with them.

I don’t understand why you’d want to buy an AR-15 assault rifle like James Holmes had. It’s illegal for hunting and impractical and grossly overpowered for self defense. If you’re in such danger that the only way you can defend yourself is with a military grade assault rifle, you might be Scarface – ergo, a criminal, and the last person who I want to have a military grade assault rifle.

Yes, even if the AR-15 were illegal, James Holmes would’ve probably been able to get one, and if not he still would’ve killed one hell of a lot of people with the two handguns and the shotgun he had with him. But I don’t think, “He would’ve gotten one anyway” is a good enough reason to keep letting people buy assault weapons legally. What do we stand to lose by making mass murder a little bit more difficult?

And for the rational, level headed firearm enthusiasts who just want to own an AR-15 for show, maybe this would be a good time for you to be rational and level headed and understand that this is a case of the greater good. Given a choice between being able to mount a military weapon on your wall as a conversation piece and making it harder for somebody to shoot 71 people for the hell of it, which would you choose?

Truman Capps got himself on a lot of gun owners’ shit lists the last time he talked about gun control – let’s see what happens this time around!